Politicians must stop using pseudoscience to sell their

Mandatory Credit: Photo by ANDY RAIN/EPA-EFE/Shutterstock (12839839f) The Home Office in London, Britain 08 March 2022. The UK's Home Office is facing condemn for failing to help people fleeing war in Ukraine. The Home Office has announced it is to set up a "pop-up" visa application centre for Ukrainian people in Lille, some seventy miles from Calais. Critics say Britain is not doing enough to take in refugees from Ukraine. The UK government has revealed that approximately fifty visas had been issued under the Ukraine Family Scheme. Over a million people have fled the fighting in Ukraine. UK Home Office condemed for failing to help refugees fleeing war in Ukraine, London, United Kingdom - 08 Mar 2022

ANDY RAIN/EPA-EFE/Shutterstock

IF YOU have a tricky bit of policy you need to sell, try reaching for some scientific words – whether or not research actually backs up your claims.

This tactic has been a favourite of the UK government in recent years. At the start of the covid-19 pandemic, it resisted calls for social distancing measures, as had already been implemented in some other countries. The reason given was that policies such as lockdowns would be unworkable because people would experience “behavioural fatigue”, a sciencey-sounding concept supposedly based on research in psychology, but which scientists advising the government later disowned. “If you …

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